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Capture-recapture methodology

January 1, 2013

Capture-recapture methods were initially developed to estimate human population abundance, but since that time have seen widespread use for fish and wildlife populations to estimate and model various parameters of population, metapopulation, and disease dynamics. Repeated sampling of marked animals provides information for estimating abundance and tracking the fate of individuals in the face of imperfect detection. Mark types have evolved from clipping or tagging to use of noninvasive methods such as photography of natural markings and DNA collection from feces. Survival estimation has been emphasized more recently as have transition probabilities between life history states and/or geographical locations, even where some states are unobservable or uncertain. Sophisticated software has been developed to handle highly parameterized models, including environmental and individual covariates, to conduct model selection, and to employ various estimation approaches such as maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. With these user-friendly tools, complex statistical models for studying population dynamics have been made available to ecologists. The future will include a continuing trend toward integrating data types, both for tagged and untagged individuals, to produce more precise and robust population models.

Publication Year 2013
Title Capture-recapture methodology
DOI 10.1002/9780470057339.vac002.pub2
Authors William R. Gould, William L. Kendall
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70047654
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit